If you live in a hurricane prone area, every May and June, you are urged to prep for the upcoming Hurricane Season. I’d like to share with you my top ____ must haves for Hurricane Prep.

I’ve been through 4 very rough hurricanes. Three of which occurred one after another in 2004 (Charley, Frances, and Jean). This past hurricane season, we were “visited” by Irma.

I’ve been joking for years that I’m a would-be doomsday prepper, but Irma hitting Florida was a wake up call for me. We were very blessed with the minimal damage our property received, but I had a completely different experience with this hurricane vs. the three in 2004.

In 2004, I was a Junior in high school. My dad had purchased a generator 3 months prior to the hurricanes hitting for a job site that didn’t have power. We were connected to City Water. My cell phone service provider was Nextel, which all the Emergency Response crews had. So we had the ability to plug in the microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, and charge our phones. We still had running water. And because my cell service was the one all the Emergency Response crews were using, I never lost cell service.

September 2017, my husband and I own our own home. We hadn’t purchased a generator yet. We have a well, that requires power to run. My cell service provider now is AT&T…things went quite differently for me this time. I can deal with no A.C. a lot better than some people. I was more worried about my fridge and chest freezer. I could walk down to my in-laws to charge my cell phone. Not having running water did suck. We do have a pool, so I could use pool water to flush the toilets. Also we could use the pool to rinse in and take “Florida baths.” Not being able to call or text my mom to tell her I was okay was probably the most difficult part of the whole experience for me.

Anyways, spending the day after Irma had done her damage, cleaning up and figuring out the next step, was eye-opening and I started making a mental list of stuff to help prepare for the next hurricane season.

1. Candles/Lanterns/Flashlights

We were without power for only 28 hours, not too bad really, but once the sun goes down, the house gets very dark. I seriously thought I had more candles than I had. NOPE! Flashlights are great, but candles are also acceptable. Especially those tall, 8 inch, sanctuary candles from the Dollar Tree that burn for 80 hours. *DO NOT LEAVE BURNING CANDLES UNATTENDED*

2. Easy snacks, food, and bottled water.

My husband and I joke about how peanut butter and Chef Boyardee always go on sale at the beginning of hurricane season, but they are great things to have in the pantry if the power goes out. Peanut butter can be eaten straight from the jar. Chef Boyardee can be eaten cold or warmed on the grill. Another staple would be Pop-Tarts. Empty calories and comfort food. We didn’t lose anything in our freezers (very well insulated), but not really thinking ahead was a mistake. Bottled water is an obvious need, especially if you live on a well and the pump doesn’t work without power (and you have no hand pump) or if city water goes on a boil water notice.

Yes, we had fresh veges and fruit, and bread and peanut butter, BUT it’s not the same as having Little Debbie ® snack cakes and potato chips…Calories don’t count during crisis mode, right?

3. Generator and several full gas cans

Find some money in the budget and buy the damn generator. It’ll save you having to throw out ruined food and you can plug a fan in to stand in front of. Some insurance companies will reimburse for lost food if the power’s out for long enough. I don’t want to contemplate having to deal with that. I’d rather be proactive and try not to lose food.

4. Battery-powered or crank radio

In talking to a friend of mine, who is in no way a prepper, but she likes being prepared, she mentioned purchasing a hand-crank radio was going into the budget for next hurricane season. (We’d gone through Irma together.) And she’s right.

5. Mindset

Mindset is more important than you think it is. You can be physically prepared (gas, generator, bottled water, candles, flashlights, etc.), but if you’re not mentally prepared nothing will calm your nerves.

I’ve been through 4 hurricanes in my life. Three of them were back to back in 2004 (Charlie, Frances, and Jean), and then Irma in 2017. And let me tell you, they were completely different experiences. Re-read the beginning of this post if you’ve forgotten.

6. Books, board games, decks of cards

You’re going to need something to keep yourself entertained if the power goes out. We’re so addicted to our smartphones, that we risk running the battery down on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. without a way to charge our phones. Also if the power’s out, so is the wifi, genius.

Other Social Media:

TFAPCG FB: https://www.facebook.com/talesfromapolkcountygirl/

Crafts by Cori FB: https://www.facebook.com/Crafts-by-Cori-163136173711522/

CBC Products ETSY shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBCproducts

Knitting All the Blankets YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbwh5oIhRXL83y___mL2gSQ

Knitting All the Blankets Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/knitting-all-the-blankets-podcast

Consider being a Patron!

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One quarter of the year is over! I got a lot accomplished in the last three months, and I’m hoping to get more done this quarter.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsnNPFnRp2Y%5B/embedyt%5D

Goal Setting YouTube Playlist

Other Social Media:

TFAPCG FB: https://www.facebook.com/talesfromapolkcountygirl/

Crafts by Cori FB: https://www.facebook.com/Crafts-by-Cori-163136173711522/

CBC Products ETSY shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBCproducts

Knitting All the Blankets YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbwh5oIhRXL83y___mL2gSQ

Knitting All the Blankets Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/knitting-all-the-blankets-podcast

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I decided to film a short Plant Roll Call video and show off all my edible plants! I’m very proud of these plants and that I’ve been able to keep them alive and produce food from them!

Husband and I consider ourselves Urban Homesteaders, even thought we don’t have acreage or a farm or animals. We’re also in the early stages of this journey and hope to add more garden space and edible plants over the next couple of years.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtuqFA0PO2U%5B/embedyt%5D

Other Social Media:

TFAPCG YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwETw4Z0geZ52u9AErAZJwg

TFAPCG FB: https://www.facebook.com/talesfromapolkcountygirl/

Crafts by Cori FB: https://www.facebook.com/Crafts-by-Cori-163136173711522/

CBC Products ETSY shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBCproducts

Knitting All the Blankets YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbwh5oIhRXL83y___mL2gSQ

Knitting All the Blankets Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/knitting-all-the-blankets-podcast

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Last week, I shared some of the fun I’d been having with my Nesco Food Dehydrator. I’ve been inspired by one of the Dehydrating Facebook groups I’m in.

A lady, in the Dehydrating for Rebels, dehydrated mushrooms, onions, and green peppers. She turned them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder. I thought that was brilliant!

In my previous post, I showed the mushrooms we dehydrated. We don’t have a coffee grinder at the moment, so we tried using our Ninja Express Chop to pulverize them….It didn’t work out so well. The mushrooms are now finely chopped, which worked out great when I made a large pot of Chicken Noodle Soup.

Anyways! I said I was inspired. Here are some of the mix ideas I’m thinking about putting together in the future:

Holy Trinity:

onions, celery, and bell peppers.

Mire Poix:

onions, carrots, and celery.

Flour-Alternative for Gravy:

white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and parsnips.

Soffrito:

onion, parsley, garlic, celery, and carrots.

And if all else fails, and I don’t create a single jar for each mix, I do individual jars of each component and make 1:1:1 ratios as needed.

When I made my chicken noodle soup, having powdered celery would have been helpful. If you have any other combinations, please leave them in the comments below. 

Other Social Media:

TFAPCG YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwETw4Z0geZ52u9AErAZJwg

TFAPCG FB: https://www.facebook.com/talesfromapolkcountygirl/

Crafts by Cori FB: https://www.facebook.com/Crafts-by-Cori-163136173711522/

CBC Products ETSY shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBCproducts

Knitting All the Blankets YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbwh5oIhRXL83y___mL2gSQ

Knitting All the Blankets Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/knitting-all-the-blankets-podcast

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For Christmas, my in-laws bought me a Nesco Food Dehydrator. It comes with 6 trays, 2 herb sheets, and two fruit leather trays. I did order 4 more herb sheets off Amazon. 

I LOVE this thing! So far I’ve dehydrated mushrooms (button and baby bella) and herbs. In the hopes that if I pulverized them and turned them into powder, we could add the power to various recipes. I like mushroom flavor, HATE the texture.

Here’s what they look like dehydrated. As of today, I haven’t pulverized them, and they are separated not mixed. In my opinion, the button mushrooms have a stronger aroma than the baby bellas.

I wanted a dehydrator mainly for my herb garden. My basil, mint, and rosemary are plentiful. My Greek oregano is brand new, so it has some growing to do. I also have citrus trees in my backyard, so I’m looking forward to making my own fruit snacks.

So far, other than mushrooms, I’ve only dehydrated some basil and mint. I swear I pruned my basil plant (since I filled 9 trays with it) but it does not look like it.

Have any of you used a food dehydrator before? What do you like to make with yours?

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Post-Hurricane Irma: The danger has passed and power has been restored. It’s been 13 years since I’ve gone through a hurricane. Wasn’t a fan then, and not a fan now.

Here’s how we fared during Hurricane Irma:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3OSDc1lSYY%5B/embedyt%5D

Wire Mesh mentioned in video: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-Actual-50-ft-x-3-ft-Rolled-Wire-Galvanized-Steel-Welded-Wire-Rolled-Fencing/4780627 

 

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Going off directions from another blogger, my husband and I attempted to freeze raw potatoes. Here are the results of our Frozen Potato Experiment.

Our potatoes were un-pealed and shredded hash brown style, instead of cubed. Now we didn’t freeze completely raw potatoes, they were par boiled. Once they were par boiled, we spread them out on cookie sheets and freeze them, per the directions.

We love making breakfast scrambles, and thought this would be a frugal way to get potatoes for breakfast. That may sound silly, but we don’t buy potatoes often because we don’t eat them very often. Hence wanting to stock up and have them on hand in the freezer.

We treated a bag the same way we would a bag of the Simply Potatoes ® brand. We dumped them into a frying pan to make breakfast potatoes.

They turned into fried mashed potatoes!!!

At first, my husband was disappointed (actually, more than disappointed, there was swearing), but then I pointed out that we had mashed potatoes!!! We love mashed potatoes, but again, we don’t buy potatoes too often. I’m very happy that I have frozen potatoes that will turn into mashed potatoes whenever I want mashed potatoes.

There are some readers who will question why I just don’t go buy a few fresh potatoes for mashed potatoes. I like convenience foods. I really do. Keeping fresh potatoes around doesn’t work for my household. They usually go bad before they’re all used, especially if I get a bag of potatoes. And buying the smaller packs of baking potatoes isn’t fiscally smart in my opinion. At least in my local grocery stores, 2-4 large baking potatoes is the equivalent cost of a 10 lb. bag of potatoes.

Here’s a picture of the remaining three bags in my freezer:

frozen-potato-lesson

© Cori Large 21 August 2016

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Here are this month’s blog links. I haven’t read all of them yet, unlike some months. Enjoy!

Business Related Blog Links:

Etsy Alternatives: 5 Places to Sell Your Handmade Items https://blog.scottsmarketplace.com/etsy-alternatives/

17 Ways to Prevent a Burnout Before It Happens http://personalself.com/preventing-burnout/

How much money to you really need to make? http://erineflynn.com/how-much-money-do-you-really-need-to-make/

Staying Organized & On Task (Even if it’s not your forte) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/women-entrepreneurs-we-nyc/staying-organized-and-on-_b_10616808.html

Cooking Related Blog Links:

Substitutions http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/2016/06/my-go-to-baking-ingredient-substitution.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BlissfulAndDomestic+%28Blissful+and+Domestic%29&safe=strict

Pear and Pecan Summer Salad w/ Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing http://www.disneyinyourday.com/2016/06/17/pear-pecan-summer-salad-recipe/

2 Ingredient Bread Sticks http://www.onionringsandthings.com/2016/06/two-ingredient-breadsticks/

Salted Caramel Mocha Pudding Cookies http://sequinsinthesouth.com/salted-caramel-mocha-pudding-cookies/

Finance Related Blog Links:

5 Financial Myths Busted! http://www.financiallyfitandfab.com/5-financial-myths-busted/

Homesteading:

Growing Drying Beans http://homespunseasonalliving.com/grow-drying-beans-for-food-security/

Knitting Related Blog Links:

Yarn Shops & Knitting Shops in Florida http://yarnplaces.com/directory/yarn-shops/fl/

Savannah, GA Yarn Shops & Knitting Shops http://yarnplaces.com/directory/yarn-shops/ga/savannah/

Findaly, OH Yarn Shops & Knitting Shops http://yarnplaces.com/directory/yarn-shops/oh/findlay/

Planner Related Blog Links:

WTF is a Bullet Journal https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/how-to-start-a-bullet-journal?utm_term=.mxOwQLNdpl&bffbbooks#.qdB3qpNmRr

You Know You’re A Planner Addict When… http://stationerystarlet.blogspot.com/2016/02/you-know-youre-planner-addict-when.html

You Can Plan Anywhere https://timemanagementninja.com/2016/06/you-can-plan-anywhere/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TimeManagementNinja+%28Time+Management+Ninja%29

What Has Your Planner Done for You? http://myfilofaxblogat.blogspot.com/2016/06/what-has-your-planner-done-for-you.html

How to Use Bound Journals http://www.leatherquillshoppe.com/blog/how-to-use-bound-journals

Webster’s Pages TN Review and Set Up https://thestationerygeekette.com/2016/05/31/websters-pages-tn-review-and-set-up/

Thoughts on Planner Peace http://myfilofaxblogat.blogspot.com/2016/06/thoughts-on-planner-peace.html

Maximize Your Time, Use It Wisely https://thefabulousplanner.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/maximize-your-time-use-it-wisely/

How I Got Out of My Planner Rut http://liveloveplanners.blogspot.com/2016/04/how-i-got-out-of-my-planner-rut.html

Turn Off Distractions—Stay Focused with Your Planner https://thefabulousplanner.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/turn-off-distractions-stay-focused-with-your-planner/

A Year of Planning—How Things Change https://zoeplans.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/a-year-of-planning-how-things-change/

5 Reasons You Do Have Time to Plan Your Day https://timemanagementninja.com/2016/02/5-reasons-you-do-have-time-to-plan-your-day/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TimeManagementNinja+%28Time+Management+Ninja%29

My Love-Hate Relationship with My Planner http://srplanner.blogspot.com/2016/02/my-love-hate-relationship-with-my.html

Five Ideas to Make a Planner Work for You https://thefabulousplanner.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/five-ideas-to-make-a-planner-work-for-you/

How to Make All Those Lists Work in Your Planner http://www.giftieetcetera.com/2016/06/how-to-make-all-those-lists-work-in.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GiftieEtcetera+%28Giftie+Etcetera%29&safe=strict

Traveler’s Notebook Bullet Journal: Finding What Worked for Me http://www.passionthemedlife.com/2016/06/16/travelers-notebook-bullet-journal-finding-what-worked-for-me/

Random Blog Links:

Minimalist Living http://howtogyst.com/minimalist-living/

For the Love of Money or Happiness https://jaycolby.com/2016/06/15/for-the-love-of-money-or-happiness/

How to Find Focus as a Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur http://www.strangecharmed.com/business/how-to-find-focus-as-a-multi-passionate-entrepreneur/

Why are Affluent Millennials Shopping in Dollar Stores? http://www.forbes.com/sites/retailwire/2016/06/21/why-are-affluent-millennials-shopping-in-dollar-stores/#155fc5ee7453

You Don’t Have to Do Anything…Really You Don’t! https://timemanagementninja.com/2016/04/you-dont-have-to-do-anything-really-you-dont/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TimeManagementNinja+%28Time+Management+Ninja%29

The Story Behind the Monopoly Pieces http://coolmaterial.com/feature/the-story-behind-monopoly-pieces/?utm_source=coolhunting.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange_article

Writing Related Blog Links:

Freelance Links http://blogalog75.wix.com/queenolinks#!Freelance-Writing/pzst9/574c32220cf23b0100897fad

How to Start Freelancing in 8 Easy Steps http://www.alexiapbullard.com/blog/how-to-start-freelancing-8-steps

Three Reasons Why Writing Matters http://www.iamtypecast.com/2016/04/writing-matters.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Typecast2000+%28Typecast%29

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Very Brief History:

Invented and patented in 1858 by John Landis Mason, these jars are still largely used for their original purpose: canning and preserving food. While canning and preserving fads have come in waves over the last century, mason jars are now used for more than their original use. Look up mason jars on Pinterest and you’ll find a multitude of non-food related activities to use Mason Jars on. In this post, I would like to share with you why I think Mason Jars are awesome and what I use them for.

Awesome-ness Reasons:

*Long lasting and reusable, unless broken.

*Versatile. It will hold almost everything you need it to: canned produce, homemade preserves, unused coffee grounds, brewed coffee, other drinks, can go in the fridge and freezer as well as the pantry.

*Pretty uniform when it comes to lids. No hunting around for the correct one.

*They come in a variety of sizes and colors.

What I use Mason Jars for:

*Storing leftovers, mainly soup and coffee.

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(Photo taken inside the fridge.)

*Portioning out foodstuffs to be frozen, like chicken broth or cheese.

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Photos of my messy freezer. Both of these have cheese in them.

*On the go drinks. There are new lids and straws for this.

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*Mason Jar gifts for Christmas.

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Christmas 2015 gift.

*Dry tea canisters. I received a lot of lose tea, and wanted to combine the same tea types into a single container.

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Purple anniversary Ball wide mouth edition jars.

I did find some different styles at my local Dollar Tree:

A hinged one

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And BABY mason jars!!! OMG these are so cute!

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With these two new style finds, it’s time to start thinking about this year’s Christmas gifts!

Links for more information:

Mason Jar Wikipedia

The Mason Jar, Reborn

Ball: History & Timeline

© Cori Large 7 June 2016

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Last year, one of my first blog posts and YouTube videos was of a meat haul my husband and I had done in our attempt at saving money on meat.

We supplemented that haul with smaller purchases of chicken breasts and ground beef (most commonly used in our kitchen). We also had scored a 40 lb. case of chicken breasts (normally priced at $80.00) for $46.98! That lasted us a long time!

Our latest meat haul came from a local meat market, where they have Meat Deal Packs. We got the Medium deal.

From that, I split it up into more manageable portions and ended up with:

# of Packages Contents
2 Ribeye twin packs (4 steaks total).

 

Already separated into two-two packs. Just wrapped in Aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

2 Packages of Bacon.

 

Again, already separated and just put in the freezer.

1 Country ribs.

 

Came prepackaged. Wrapped it in Al- foil.

2 Whole chickens!

 

It’s been so long since we’ve had whole chickens! Again, the came individually wrapped and were put in the freezer.

1 Beef rump roast.

 

Came prepackaged. Wrapped it in Al- foil.

3 T-Bone steaks.

 

I individually wrapped these in Al- foil and put them in a large plastic zip bag, so I could find them easier.

2 1.5-2 lb. packages of ground hamburger meat.

 

These came in one of those large 4 lb. bundles, and I split them into two packages, roughly 1.5-2 lb. each. I didn’t get my digital scale out this time, just eyeballed it.

This haul is not as big as the one we did last year, but this one contains stuff we’ll actually eat. The bigger haul from last year was a learning experience. There’s no sense in getting bigger meal deal when there’s stuff in it you won’t eat. (Like smoked sausage and bologna, in my case.)

We have a large chest freeze that will accommodate a lot of food, so shopping for bulk deals works for us. It has saved us money, and 99.99% of the time, if there’s a recipe or dish we want for dinner, we have the meat in the freezer already and just need to thaw it. (That .01% is when I want lamb and haven’t found a good price on it.)

Is there anything you buy in bulk to save money on? Please share in the comments.

© Cori Large 11 May 2016

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